2023 Mongrel Punt All-Australian Team

We’ve made it.

The 24-round home and away season has concluded, and the season is closer than ever to its pinnacle – that one day in September. We’ve witnessed some breathtaking football in 2023, and have been left in awe with some incredible individual and team performances.

So, that brings us to naming our 2023 All-Australian Team. A balanced side, that makes sense based around players being picked in their positions, while also ensuring their aren’t too many of the same type of player.

To refresh your memories after a two-week hiatus, here’s how the post-round 22 team looked:


FB: Sam Taylor, Harris Andrews, James Sicily

HB: Dan Houston, Darcy Moore, Tom Stewart

C: Errol Gulden, Zak Butters, Josh Daicos

HF: Christian Petracca, Taylor Walker, Toby Greene

FF: Charlie Cameron, Charlie Curnow, Kyle Langford

Foll: Tim English, Marcus Bontempelli, Tim Taranto

Int: Isaac Quaynor, Connor Rozee, Jordan Dawson, Gryan Miers, Rowan Marshall (sub)


It has been challenging to land a final team, with so many players in consideration. However, selection integrity has had to remain, and, so, some tough decisions have been made.

A big part of this team is the eye test. A smaller part is the stats. All of these players are worthy of selection. We have also had to consider a player’s availability, and if, when all is considered, they’ve missed too much football to be selected – even if the footy they played was bloody good – sorry, Nick Daicos.

I guess I should stop stalling and dragging this out. *cue drum roll* here is the OFFICIAL Mongrel Punt All-Australian Team for 2023.


FB: Dan Houston, Harris Andrews, James Sicily

HB: Jack Sinclair, Darcy Moore, Tom Stewart

C: Errol Gulden, Zak Butters, Josh Daicos

HF: Christian Petracca, Taylor Walker, Toby Greene

FF: Charlie Cameron, Charlie Curnow, Nick Larkey

Foll: Rowan Marshall, Marcus Bontempelli, Tim Taranto

Int: Isaac Quaynor, Connor Rozee, Jordan Dawson, Shai Bolton, Gryan Miers (sub)


Captain: Toby Greene

Vice-Captain: James Sicily

Coach: Ken Hinkley


The Changes

Four changes. Sam Taylor, Tim English, and Kyle Langford all leave the team, while Gryan Miers moves to the sub.

I understand that some of these calls might be confusing, so I’ll outline the reasons in the next section.

Into the side comes Jack Sinclair – I heard the jungle drums coming for me two weeks ago, and feel like he does deserve a blazer in 2023, while Rowan Marshall comes in to start as the ruckman (I promise Scoops hasn’t written this). His season has been uber-consistent, and he has been instrumental in the way the Saints have played and why they climbed the ladder this year.

Nick Larkey has been outstanding. Playing in a side that had a 20-game losing streak, and managing to kick 70+ goals is no easy thing. He has been a shining light in a disappointing season for North.

Finally, Shai Bolton. Lots of Tigers fans have asked about Bolton this year. I watched a few Tigers games at various points and he was flat in them, so I felt justified in his omission. Then, I started looking at some of the stats, particularly his impact on the scoreboard and his team’s scores, and realised that his influence was more than I expected. I’m willing to say I got this one wrong along the way.

We know this won’t be the final side selected by the AFL as there are players here not in their 44-man squad – a travesty – and they always pick midfielders everywhere. I expect that to happen again.


The Unlucky Few

Significantly, Nick Daicos and Sam Taylor. I’d have both of them in the top 10 for this season. So, why are they missing? For the integrity of the selection of this site, it’s their lack of availability. Hodgey pointed out to me an NFL saying: “The best ability is availability” and so, when stacking up against others, they have to miss because of games missed throughout the season. For Nick as well, based on our parameters and the subsequent integrity of positions, he spent more time as a mid and probably didn’t quite have the resume as a mid as others. Rest easy though, Pies fans, the AFL team will likely feature him.

Tom Green is another impacted by missing games but also had a flat spot during the season. I weighed up adding him as the sub but felt that the Miers selection was better for team balance. I expect we will see Tom Green become a staple in years to come.

Tim English is probably the unluckiest of all, given he was in the team for most of the year. Going head-to-head, essentially, with Rowan Marshall in the final two games. Both teams played the Cats, who had inexperienced rucks, so I’ve based this call on that. Marshall dominated the ruck all night, and English was moved forward because of the impact of a debutant. That sealed the response. It’s a personal opinion, and some may not like it, but I’m willing to stand by this one.

Jacob Weitering hadn’t featured in the team this year; however, he had a fantastic season and came close to being selected. Ultimately, the consistency of some others won out, but the Blue shouldn’t be disappointed and should be chasing a different kind of glory in the coming weeks.

Oscar Allen and Kyle Langford both had stellar seasons. Like Larkey, Oscar Allen carried an immense load in a struggling side. The Mongrel Writers had many a debate about whether Allen has Naughton covered, and, I think, he’s set a path to fulfil his potential after 2023. Langford could perhaps lay claim to being the most improved player in the league this year. A whipping boy of sorts for the Bombers, Langford became one of their most consistent and reliable performers this season.


Thank you for your constructive input this year and I hope I’ve provided enough logic to explain my decisions – even if unpopular. I look forward to doing this again in 2024.